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So trivial, yet it really ticks you off.

tonyb

I'll Lock Up
Messages
9,966
Location
My mother's basement
Damn, I want that living-room!!

:D

“Mid-century mod” is hotter now than it was 50 and 60 years ago. It has been for a decade or more. Maybe it has cooled a bit, but just a bit. And maybe it hasn’t. The major overseas manufacturers and stateside retailers are still moving mid-century “inspired” stuff by the mega-freighterful, to coin a term.

We’ve discussed this matter at some length already. “Real” antiques, the centuries-old stuff, what these days is called “brown furniture” in the trade, has been in the doldrums for at least 10 years. But “vintage” items — furniture, dinnerware, etc. — dating from the 1950s through the mid-70s or so, is fetching prices that would have my grandfather shaking his head.

We have also thoroughly chewed over the reasons for this phenomenon. But it remains an interesting one, and always worth another look.

A few years back at a vintage car show I chatted with a fellow 20 years my senior, more or less. The oldtimer was displaying his Ford Model A convertible, which he had built to resemble the type of hotrod seen in the early 1950s, when Model A Fords were themselves only 20-some years old. Had he not told me, I wouldn’t have known that all the body sheet metal was of recent manufacture. The FoMoCo flathead V8 was out of an early ‘50s Mercury, he told me. Stamped steel wheels were painted red and had true hubcaps (as contrasted with wheel covers), as was the fashion back when he was a young man.

I mention that man and his car to illustrate what typically motivates the acquisition of retro and vintage stuff of most all description. We fetishize stuff, we imbue it with meanings entirely in our own heads. In the case of the fellow with the Model A hotrod, it’s to hold onto a piece of the world he knew when that world was still new. And that’s fine by me. There is magic in the stuff I surround myself with. And yes, I know the thinking itself is magical. But I can’t imagine life without such magic.
 
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vitanola

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,254
Location
Gopher Prairie, MI
I do not want to cross a line here re FL's policy on politics, but if this ⇧ post is acceptable then a few points around it seem appropriate. I am stating upfront that my views lean very libertarian, but I still believe there is a role for the gov't and preventing force and/or fraud is one clear one that, IMHO, the gov't does a terrible job of doing around fraud in advertising. Let the libertarians scream, write laws that require clear labeling of relevant product features (obviously, including the amount of contents) AND any changes, as, IMHO, all this labeling nonsense is borderline fraud*. Also, real companies compete on their products' quality and pricing, not by misleading packaging.

Also, at least in NYC, as I understand it, the market for milk is far from Adam Smith's free hand as there are many rules, regs and limitations set by gov't policy. Okay, that's what our society wants, but it is not fair to then fault capitalism when something in "the market" doesn't work when "the market" is really just a regulated mishmash of gov't and private companies (usually, with both in cahoots to screw the consumer).

If the bartenders want to delete this post - please do so, but I'd say then that my friend (and I mean that) Vitanola's should also be deleted.

* And if you want to see how deceitful advertising can be in screwing the consumer, check out the government run lotteries where the payoffs are exaggerated and risks ignored in ways that the private sector would never be allowed to get away with if it ran the lottery, especially when you note that the population of lottery ticket buyers skews heavily toward lower income people - many of whom are already on gov't support.
I do not want to cross a line here re FL's policy on politics, but if this ⇧ post is acceptable then a few points around it seem appropriate. I am stating upfront that my views lean very libertarian, but I still believe there is a role for the gov't and preventing force and/or fraud is one clear one that, IMHO, the gov't does a terrible job of doing around fraud in advertising. Let the libertarians scream, write laws that require clear labeling of relevant product features (obviously, including the amount of contents) AND any changes, as, IMHO, all this labeling nonsense is borderline fraud*. Also, real companies compete on their products' quality and pricing, not by misleading packaging.

Also, at least in NYC, as I understand it, the market for milk is far from Adam Smith's free hand as there are many rules, regs and limitations set by gov't policy. Okay, that's what our society wants, but it is not fair to then fault capitalism when something in "the market" doesn't work when "the market" is really just a regulated mishmash of gov't and private companies (usually, with both in cahoots to screw the consumer).

If the bartenders want to delete this post - please do so, but I'd say then that my friend (and I mean that) Vitanola's should also be deleted.

* And if you want to see how deceitful advertising can be in screwing the consumer, check out the government run lotteries where the payoffs are exaggerated and risks ignored in ways that the private sector would never be allowed to get away with if it ran the lottery, especially when you note that the population of lottery ticket buyers skews heavily toward lower income people - many of whom are already on gov't support.

I don't see where either your or my post crosses any line, but of course I am not really in any position to judge, and my opinion on the matter is of no import.

The matter of anit-trust was a hotly debated point at some times in one history, and settled opinion. Early on, the Sherman Law, while intended for use a
Based on all the above and the little I read in-between, it really does seem that the '00s was when the downsizing started. Had I not found the 1990s 1 LB bags of Nutter Butter, I might have been more sympathetic to NB, but even so, based on Lizzies 13 1/2 OZ bag, today's 11.8 OZ one is still a cheat.

 
Messages
11,526
Location
Southern California
Just took a cookie break (one of the perks of working from home) and noted the sizes of the packages of three cookie that I grew up with (which just, um, happened to be in our cupboard):

Oreos: 13.2 OZ
Vienna Finges 14.2 OZ
Nutter Butter 11.8 OZ

I have no memory of their package sizes from when I was a kid, but would be willing to bet they were larger in weight and, probably, they were a round number.
Let's not forget that lower weights aren't the only way these cookie companies are short-changing their customers. Most of them now include vacuformed plastic trays in their packaging to "prevent the cookies from getting broken", and those trays take up space that was formerly occupied by more cookies. If there's a new way to rip us off they'll find it, and the Boys From Marketing will figure out a way to sell it to us.
 

3fingers

One Too Many
Messages
1,797
Location
Illinois
I was at the store this morning and found that Kraft has cut the number of cheese slices in a package from 24 to 22. With the same pre-printed price on the package. Now instead of a pound you get 14.7 ounces for the same price. I wonder how many strategy meetings it took to hammer that one out.
In what may be a small victory, I have not seen the 22 slice package of cheese since I originally posted this.
I hope the negative feedback was sufficiently fiery that whoever signed off on this idea still has blisters on their backside.
 

LizzieMaine

Bartender
Messages
31,286
Location
Where The Tourists Meet The Sea
Kraft was once a decent company with decent products, but it has, over the last forty years since it engulfed and digested General Foods, become the epitome of a bean-counting anti-consumer crass and vicious corporate behemoth. I try my best to avoid supporting them in any way, even though they did and still do make good cheese. But so does Cabot -- a farmer-owned cooperative -- and without the sleazy overtones.
 

3fingers

One Too Many
Messages
1,797
Location
Illinois
^^^ I was not aware until a few days ago that Oscar Mayer was now owned by the conglomerate of Kraft Heinz. Sorry Oscar, our ham and cheese loaf relationship is over. I have not been happy with Kraft for some while for multiple reasons, but was also unaware that Heinz, who I despise, was also in that mix. The list of multinationals that I am avoiding keeps growing, but it is benefiting the store brands and smaller companies that I am replacing them with.
 

Bushman

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,031
Location
Joliet
This conversation reminds me of this graphic I first came across a long time ago called "The Illusion of Choice":
consumer-brands-1070.jpg
 

3fingers

One Too Many
Messages
1,797
Location
Illinois
Many store brand goods are in fact made by the big multinationals. Smoke & mirrors.
True. However I live in an agricultural area in the middle of nowhere. We have no huge chain markets and we know people who work in all of the stores. They can tell you what comes from where with the exception of Walmart. As far as lunch meats and cheese, etc. go I can drive to the places where most of them come from in a couple of hours or less. I realize that this is not the case for most people.
 

Bruce Wayne

My Mail is Forwarded Here
At least in the UK, supermarkets have the decency to put price-per-weight on shelf labels. They (and their suppliers) still employ the full range of sneaky tricks, but there are some metrics they can't lie about!

It is very similar here in the states with grocery store food items where the tag on the shelf lists the overall price & then below it a price-per-unit, be it ounce, pound, or what have you.
 
Messages
15,928
Location
New York City
It is very similar here in the states with grocery store food items where the tag on the shelf lists the overall price & then below it a price-per-unit, be it ounce, pound, or what have you.

It's the law, but it is not aggressively enforced in NYC as many stores only make a half-hearted effort at it as many of those listing are old/out of date or rubbed off or, in some cases, not even posted. It's frustrating as it's a great tool to quickly cut through all the packaging and pricing shenanigans (which is why stores/brands hate it).

Instead, too many times, I'm standing in a store trying to do the math in my head to figure out if the $3.22 14.2 OZ bag of this is cheaper per ounce than the $2.99 12.4 OZ bag of a competitor, etc. With all the decimal places and bag sizes - and when it gets up to four or five different options - it can be a bit much.

This libertarian-leaning guy is fine with labelling laws (like having to list the per-ounce, etc., requirement), but of course, despite living in an acknowledged high-tax city (inside a high-tax state) that has a very, very big city government, it can't seem to enforce the laws it passes.
 

KILO NOVEMBER

Practically Family
Messages
953
Location
Hurricane Coast Florida
Price per kilo is so much more civilized.
Metric system, feh! It's so, French. Decimals are fine with arithmetic, but get yourself a pile of some commodity and divide it into ten equal parts. I'll wait....

Now instead, divide it in two. Now that wasn't hard, was it? Now divide one of those halves in two, again, again. What you now have is 1/16th of the original pile (let's call that a "pound") and we'll call the 16th part an "ounce".

As for "civilized", the earliest civilizations (Sumerian, Babylonian) used a sexagesimal number system.
 

LizzieMaine

Bartender
Messages
31,286
Location
Where The Tourists Meet The Sea
Not just pounds, let's have shillings and pence too. Especially those nifty thick twelve-sided brass thrupenny bits you could stand on edge.

We have those price-per-pound labeling requirements here too, and it's exactly as Fading notes -- the little stickers are all smudgy or blurred or rubbed off or torn. And even if they weren't, the typeface used is so smal that nobody over the age of forty could possibly read them without a jeweler's loupe.

In the '30s, Consumers Union pushed hard for standardized packaging in standard units for all processed goods, ensuring that everyone is on a level playing field, and ensuring lower manufacturing, distribution, and retail costs for all. But the Boys would have none of it.
 

3fingers

One Too Many
Messages
1,797
Location
Illinois
I may have vented my spleen on this before, but if so I'm going to do it again because my gears were ground about it again this morning.
Bank tellers who bark like auctioneers selling pie in a high school gymnasium.
It's not like I am doing million dollar deals at the teller window, but this is highly unprofessional. I don't care if the customer is cashing a ten dollar check, or depositing $250,000 the people at the other side of the bank don't need to hear the cash being counted back or the amount of the deposit. I have spoken to people about it before and they agree that it is undesirable, but it continues. My grandfather was a banker and at that time this was teller training 101. What has happened to make this so common?
I don't live in Facebook world where every detail of life is splashed across the internet, so use your inside voice please.
 

GHT

I'll Lock Up
Messages
8,431
Location
New Forest
Metric system, feh! It's so, French. Decimals are fine with arithmetic, but get yourself a pile of some commodity and divide it into ten equal parts. I'll wait....
Surely imperial measurements were the first metric. The Romans created the mile, short for millennia, meaning a thousand. The Roman pace was two steps, at every thousand paces of their road constructions they would place a millennia stone, or mile stone.

Not just pounds, let's have shillings and pence too. Especially those nifty thick twelve-sided brass thrupenny bits you could stand on edge.
Although the shilling was not minted until the sixteenth century, it had been used for accounting purposes since the Anglo-Saxon period. Originally, a shilling was deemed to be the value of a cow in Kent. The value of one shilling equalling 12d was set by the Normans following the conquest; prior to this various Anglo-Saxon coins equalling 4, 5, and 12 pence had all been known as shillings.


My missus and I have an imperial only house. A fahrenheit central heating dial, imperial bathroom and kitchen scales and a myriad of old cookbooks in imperial measurements only. Why, even my old MG has a ten gallon fuel tank.
 
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LizzieMaine

Bartender
Messages
31,286
Location
Where The Tourists Meet The Sea
I may have vented my spleen on this before, but if so I'm going to do it again because my gears were ground about it again this morning.
Bank tellers who bark like auctioneers selling pie in a high school gymnasium.
It's not like I am doing million dollar deals at the teller window, but this is highly unprofessional. I don't care if the customer is cashing a ten dollar check, or depositing $250,000 the people at the other side of the bank don't need to hear the cash being counted back or the amount of the deposit. I have spoken to people about it before and they agree that it is undesirable, but it continues. My grandfather was a banker and at that time this was teller training 101. What has happened to make this so common?
I don't live in Facebook world where every detail of life is splashed across the internet, so use your inside voice please.

When it gets me is when they yell across the floor "I need a override!" when all I'm trying to do is deposit one of my freelance writing checks. It's not my fault they sometimes bounce.
 
Messages
15,928
Location
New York City
I may have vented my spleen on this before, but if so I'm going to do it again because my gears were ground about it again this morning.
Bank tellers who bark like auctioneers selling pie in a high school gymnasium.
It's not like I am doing million dollar deals at the teller window, but this is highly unprofessional. I don't care if the customer is cashing a ten dollar check, or depositing $250,000 the people at the other side of the bank don't need to hear the cash being counted back or the amount of the deposit. I have spoken to people about it before and they agree that it is undesirable, but it continues. My grandfather was a banker and at that time this was teller training 101. What has happened to make this so common?
I don't live in Facebook world where every detail of life is splashed across the internet, so use your inside voice please.

Having spent many years on the "Wall Street" side of large banks (basically, as banks bought up most Wall Street firms, Wall Street guys like me ended up working for large banks), I saw the entire culture or "narrative" or "meme" around banking change from being one about a solemn trust built on conservative management and respectful relationships (not saying that those were true values, but they were the narratives - surface values - both sides expected) to one where bank branches became "stores" and "banking" just another way to "touch" the client and increase "cross-selling."

And this change was accepted by both sides as, in particular, younger customers (especially those comfortable doing their banking on the web) didn't care about the old surface values of trust, relationships, etc., and only cared about getting the "best deal" out of the bank. Hence, banking became more of a commodity - something bought and sold by offering the best price (highest CD rate, most ATMs, cheapest mortgage, free checking, etc.) and both sides responded accordingly.

Many things, like the aforementioned internet contributed to this, but two big ones, IMHO, are the passing away of the Depression Era generation who had lived through bank failures and cared about believing in the integrity of their bank and the passing of (and, then, increasing the amount of) gov't deposit insurance which, in a way, made the quality of the bank irrelevant since, as long as you have less than the insured amount in the bank, it doesn't matter if the bank is trustworthy or not - so just get the best deal, since your money was protected by Uncle Sam anyway.

There's more, but that's my somewhat inside view of it.
 

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